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January 22, 2022 1:00 pm
You pick up your Bible and one is more here than meets the is there something here for me.
I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than saying seeing is believing here: order to believe America would definitely help with some miracle I believe in miracles as well because today were going to see Pharaoh miracle refused today delighted back with some Jim and Dorothy and we are marching our way through Exodus and many of us know the exes storyboard. If you can do if you could do that.
Yeah so so we are gods in the process. In this story were rearward, start chapter 7 in the process of getting the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt because things kind of turned sour there for the last couple hundred years gotten captivity and slavery as is.
That's enough of that particular mound. He's got Moses and Aaron engaged to deal with Pharaoh and we really have one interaction affair wonder about right right that as far as Moses is concerned that didn't turn out well well and this is where the conflicts really begin exile in-your-face statements. So yes so we that's were starting in today were going to have one of many in the following weeks confrontations between Pharaoh and Moses and Aaron and and sure enough effect where we left off the end of chapter 6, chapter 6 Moses rolled out his lame excuse again reviewing these were his readers are the people he's writing to you and this is me yes is the way I was when I was responsible last three verses chapter 6 and the date of the Lord spoke to Moses in the line of Egypt. The Lord said to Moses on the Lord tell Pharaoh king of Egypt.
All that I say to you, but Moses said to the Lord will behold, I'm of uncircumcised lips hobble for or listen to me. That's where we left off its unlike Moses changed his mind and I can be involved, but as we come to chapter 7 that looks like he has a change of heart. Well, if it well. It's not just that you remember it where we left off. Also, God had said to them, I charge you, charge you go do this he had finally said quit your excuses I'm with you I will do that I'm going to do this so you go do it now or in the action phase right so let's just jump in the chapter 7 run to see how this dialogue goes between your Windows you want to start forcing chapter 7 was your sure and the Lord said to Moses C made you like God to Pharaoh and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.
You shall speak all that I command you and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. I will harden Pharaoh's heart and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you, then I will lay my hand on Egypt bring my hosts, my people, the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them we better system so that's just just God telling Moses sidle up to Pharaoh and say this and yeah this is what he told him he gave Pharaoh got about plot spoiler, but what's going to happen. This is what's going to happen. God's going to get us out. That's what's gonna happen and he also tells Pharaoh that God knows it for what wasn't yet is a lot of information about God and about Pharaoh.
Paragraph really interesting and and and presumably if I go type it had in six Moses and Aaron did so so right point, it sounds like Moses actually and Aaron did go and say this very thing right passenger seat belt you got what you see from what you see from what is it like verse, verse two, opened through verse 55 yeah yeah so looks like, so that's anxious summary of what's going to happen in the next chapter about some reversible consents and he tells Pharaoh this upfront and in Pharaoh's reaction in the section and God tells him this is what your reaction is going to be is a hardened heart. Yeah, you know, I want to spend some time before were done with this half-hour talking about that condition the heart because that is one of the that is the recurring theme actually through all time is mentioned right to the status of the hardness of his art whether some 18 times in the next few chapter. Where were we receive a statement about the condition of Pharaoh's heart. And sometimes it's passive. It happened sometimes is very active God is hardening or Pharaoh himself is heartening. So that's good to be an important pattern to pay attention to you and I know many think, just as were starting to grow the hardness of heart issue. I recall back to those passages as to places and I think it's in Ezekiel where he talks about you all remove your heart of stone you write and it was it's it's it the same imagery really a heart of stone is is a heart that can't be moved.
It's not right.
You can't persuade it in any way. It's kind of set in its ways and affect the ancient Egyptians and only mummified people. He put heart as they put rocks miraculously heart so that spiritual temptations would happen after death, and they would be persuaded to leave the truth and God knew that. So he says, yet with what I need to do is I need to replace these parts of stone give you a heart of flesh. And so right here. What were seeing is the heart of Pharaoh turning more and more into stone. It cannot be influenced cannot be moved, but we know we already know that at the end of the story.
It will be well and we also know that that was his condition already right and so that's one of the things I want to point out in the next few weeks as we go through this where God is simply responding to the condition in Pharaoh's heart according to Romans one God says you know I've put all this in front of them there without excuse. So just hand them over. They do have what they want to sell and you can you can read that passage yourself in Romans 118 – exit through the rest of the chapter 1 but it's very descriptive of that hardhearted process whereafter flat refusal to believe the truth about God what God says yeah and you in this paragraph or Moses tells Pharaoh was going to go down.
He says that God will multiply signs and wonders and language right so it's funny because what he saying is that, despite the fact that God will give you more evidence than you need to know I am still you were. You will not be willing to believe. So really, hardness of heart is more about a willingness rather than a sexual grasp of matter. Refusal to listen to God's voice, and we know the Scripture says, but pretty clearly that we are responsible for the condition of our own hearts right we can direct our heart we can set our heart. We can seek the Lord. Or we can do what we want to do a little about God wants mass battle Romans one says they didn't want God. They want to got of their own making.
So we let him have it so that is kind of a commentary on the process we can see happening for yeah it does me as I was reading is again met the part of the process of hardening heart is knowing you know when you believe something that's crazy like I could say gravity doesn't exist in some copy and say well want to go up in the edge roof and jump jump on me. If gravity existed, and then you resist that you resist every good piece of evidence for the fact that what you're leaving is wrong, but the issue is, if you become Pigheaded and stubborn and hard of heart you were decided that you will not believe anything else. And so the more evidence that comes your way and in this case you were talking God says signs and wonders, the more evidence it comes in place, the more you choose to kinda dig your heels in and and for me that's kind of a picture what hardening heart.
Well, that actually comes real close to the actual meaning of when these words is a small handful of words. Two main ones in the Old Testament it gets translated at this hardening, and there there's overlapping in their meanings. Some of them are more poetical than others, but the overall idea is to grow rigid to become resolute, obstinate, stubborn to make tough to toughen up and firm up so you know, sometimes God is doing it. Sometimes Pharaoh is doing himself and sometimes it's just happening in the natural process of resistance right if you train your muscles within resistance they get stronger the more you resist, the stronger you get at it and so that's the will and I would easily happen.
I would even say the more that God plops down evidence and from God. It causes him to become harder.
Well, in the passage today of the women talk about next weekend and truly you can say that if this whole event wasn't going to happen.
God wasn't plopping down his signs, wonders, and from about who God is Pharaoh's heart would not really get harder. It would be hard but would get hard so in a way God's complicit in this hardening because he's putting facts in front of right arrow right and is having he's having to have Pharaoh choose whether he's willing to believe this or not, or whether he will oppose it so that those facts that evidence of signs wonders will actually end result it will harden his heart because he just will not believe right will not.
Okay, so is she would push on sure will get back to hardening 40 think that's an important thing is over six. We will start for six or Moses and Aaron did so they send us to Pharaoh. This is what's gonna go down they did so, and they did just as the Lord commanded them, and now Moses was 80 years old and Aaron 83 years old when they spoke to Pharaoh. That's pretty good documentation so we know that he was 80 when he encountered God at the burning bush right so this is three years later right so that's it pretty or Moses is eating right now is 80 that's right is Aaron is a three sorry I misread it so sexually sexy contemporaneous to its is a real close really like I was trying to put that together when well I was saying I like white wet but didn't Moses go into the median and runaway from Egypt when his 40 yeah so is a whole generation later so this is this is a new chapter in the life of Moses so so it's interesting so were not looking at men who were vital in their years so you can apply from this that they're not going to kind of bowl over for with their influence them and these are these are guys doing this was cool enough to power. Okay, let's jump in divorce then so then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron went Pharaoh says do you prove yourself by working a miracle, then you shall say to Aaron, take your staff cast down before Pharaoh may become a serpent. So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast out a step before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent is just up there before what the response that so so we've seen this before. We have times you have to go back to chapter 4 we see this God says you know through the understaffed pickup by the Taylor member the entire episode in it and then presumably at the end of the chapter they do in front of the people of Israel right authentication so and it's interesting because that's one of the signs that God gave Moses to show that people the Jewish people's if they don't believe you do this right and and there's an interesting side note here, and I won't spend much time on this, but these could be crocodiles instead of snakes. While the only reason that that's speculative but don't yeah is is that the serpent were disused. Just in the section we just read in verses verses 910 and wherever yet, but that the service writer just in this half of chapter 7 is a different word than the server or the suit everywhere else like a server or that's used in Genesis 3 for Satan being a serpent that works completely different and it comes from a word that means to hit us to make a sound and also that would hiss turns into kind of a suggestive temptation. You know, so it got spiritualized but is a different word altogether. This this word for this serpent right here just in the first of chapter 7 is totally different.
Okay, that's pretty interesting. I looked into that and is most often translated as serpent in the rest the place in the Bible but it also is translated as whale and sometimes as jackals, but it but it really is to call the closest translation would have to use the word monster and is mostly used in sea monsters and stuff like that so it was applied to see monsters to River monsters. So the speculation as well for talking about the river and over every monster you know crocodiles were a big deal in Egypt and on top of that. Maybe this is the first challenge to the deities of Egypt because there was a cry crocodile the Eddie and he you'll see him in pictures of the crocodile head and stuff like that and I and he was meant to evoke fear and respect and caution on people's parts and he was always the one basically who represented the fear and respect you should have for Pharaoh. So in a sense if these were crocodiles, they were kinda like their kind like images of our Pharaoh and before we get to the next part of this crocodile guard was also one with who was one of the protectors of the Nile so so a second room ceiling tile gets trashed and so so could vary with each crocodiles. It fits the symbology, it could very well be that he makes a crocodile the ground, which represents the fear and power and influence of Pharaoh, which in the end is going.
That's all speculative, now that's very speculative but it's interesting when when no Moses throws down his staff. If it became a crocodile that it will meet the illusory ones are the fake ones are the little team won just a weapon like the Russians know at once and that's it on this story is none Bible readers know this is very common. Well it's been is the story and so Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they magicians of Egypt also did the same by their secret arts for each man cast on his staff and they became serpents or maybe crocodiles know but Aaron staff swallowed up the staff there steps and but still Pharaoh's heart was hardened.
He wouldn't listen to them as the Lord said so. Sure enough, Pharaoh brings out his guys and his guys threw down their staffs and they become snakes/crocodiles. However, the real miracle happens right after that because because because the Aaron staff ate all rest of my right now that's a hard one to.
That's a hard one to duplicate so well and also these guys you know where practicing sleight-of-hand and they had snakes up their sleeves and flung him on the ground held there and I can get the snake back on you can do that you can get into just a slight end of the story. That's like the story is the fact snakes are battling an errant snake wins.
How about that and he went he eats all the other snakes not just one of them and we don't know how many there were braces, he summoned his wisemen sorcerers is probably group guys you think about this if there snakes. There's like 20 snakes on the ground from the wisemen, sorcerers, and then there's Aaron's one snake goes around eats every one of them. Wow, amazing thing. What a statement of supreme power in something that they would never know if I was going to write a fairytale, a myth fairytale needed this kind of thing. One guy with threw down the snake and I go through data snake and then your snake would eat the other guy snake you're staying there be a battle between the snakes and it's that it's which snake wins.
That's really the story, not the fact that there snakes their son. Sure enough, that's exactly where this story goes as well but this is not a myth.
This is a real thing that happened a real thing that happened in the future. I like I like the vision of crocodiles on the lot. Well that's visually appealing the issue as we talked about this a little bit when God initially gave Moses the sign is that that reptile symbolized maybe.
Perhaps the power of the river that symbolize Egypt itself simply an exec I was you. Take Egypt and shake it by the tail and show his power in that way in an unmistakably visual way that no one could miss the message here exactly and if the crocodile God do so because his name if his crocodile gun actually represented the power of Pharaoh's that was them that was the most powerful image they had with the crocodile if he if he represents the power of Pharaoh than right here before we even start the plagues right work throwing down the gauntlet and saying the power fare was devoured right so that's a it's an interesting image is so you know as we go forward. This kind of the opening scene on the playing mystery. You and I talked yesterday a little bit about what kind of questions should we as Bible students begin to be asking you as a story on the floor you read it before you read it as we all know what's coming right as I know the plagues we just don't know what time specifically.
Maybe what they were with the understanding of the Egyptians had but you know the first question came to my mind is what this telling us about God and what is it telling us about us or by the people in the story.
If we identify with the price later to find people story when identifying with with Pharaoh or with Moses and Aaron, or with the hapless people to whom all of this stuff was happening. What is being indicated about heart conditions yet so it's interesting to track the characters in the stories see them change yet you're getting well. It's one of the things yeah I was when the questions I was asked Mazama by the way, this is this is a Bible study technique I do is when I commend her patches very familiar. I and there still questions thing in my head that I've never I've never asked Solomon to ask questions of never asked before and and for instance for me every obvious question is why didn't God just snap his fingers and get them out of Egypt was right and just transported immuno Star Trek style and the promise and build this, but this seems like this seems a good drawnout drama that has purpose to it so so when the questions ask myself is why choose going the playground all I mean when he plagues God doesn't need plate ranks. What is this about. So why is he using plagues or must be some kind of very deliberate planning God's mind wises in place and then on top of that, why does one or two I'm not going to skip the plague number 10 why these specific findings specific ones, so there is design in everything God does and accomplishment in everything he does so clearly the only purpose here isn't to get them out of Egypt, but to do something in the process of getting them out of Egypt. So that's a question on when asked. As we continue to allow my neck next to my question.
What is being indicated that God here yet is God doing because God is clearly the most active agent in the story exactly what's God doing how are the people responding.
What's the purpose and watch for repetition because were going to begin to see patterns emerge. So, with each one of these rounds of plagues and watch for what is repeat it because we know were to be told repeatedly, something that the condition of Pharaoh's heart, but are there some other repeated factors right to watch right those things I watch for contrasts. Watch for similarities so and how to the plagues differ from one another. Those are some real practical observation things that we can practice. If you presume that God has a deliberate communication plan for every plague right then.
It's a fascinating for us to ask so what what what is it what is right here. So again, this is this is this is a deliberate drawnout drama. It's not an instant relocation plan it's it's a process that God finds revival and in the process also will see will see change in Pharaoh's heart will see changes. Most parents are there learning stuff is up. As a result of the circumstance change that's fascinating even on the people's hearts.
At the very end. The people need to understand by thankful for. If you remember last week we had said that the beginning of God's deliverance may look like disaster look like the last man.
So for this next sequence of chapters as these plagues unfold.
This is going to look like a slow-motion disaster not just to the people in Egypt but at the beginning it's gonna look that way to the Hebrews to exact.
It's not until halfway through that God begins to draw separating line and the plagues following Egyptians but not on the Heber that's an interesting question. What is that switch happened and why this were just so you know were just setting the whole thing up here so that you can read ahead and begin to observe these things yourself can really have 28 minutes.you and I know we both are really big believers in the fact that that great Bible study is based on great question. And so, so sometimes if you know the passage well enough and some just cruising her way through it. Ask new questions and open questions in front of you gives you something to look for in the way that you're going is going down the path and that's always really valuable and and God will answer questions as you go, especially for questions you never asked before well and making time in your reading for this questions to emerge right because sometimes we read too fast know we we just get through the passage from the beginning to the end without pausing to go now. What just happened to take a breath and asked the question why is that here. Why is that here God things deliberately. Nothing is because God's constraint.
He does them deliberately and so you can always ask the question why did God do with this so that led to my question know is there sequence to these things and why this order.
Why be specific events, so I'm see that unfolded that unfold as we go because the next time we come together run hit the first plague, but one might want my other questions to my questions always also show white white is the staff play such a big role. That's a really interesting I think I'm over blowing it.
Here's a little piece of trivia for you. If you haven't read ahead in this book. In the next books of the of the Torah is that that that staff that Aaron cast down in verse 10 today that ends up being in the ark of the covenant. Why the staff of Aaron that but it yes. So why is that white whites have such a prominent position. There isn't. Isn't that interesting. So why why is there staff.
The ones I mean does it mean something them. It doesn't mean to me because it talked about before the staff Moses staff and step both become, in the sense characters themselves in the story. It's really pretty amazing and it's something that we can't relate to because say I don't walk around the staff in chapters and chapters and chapters ahead of this event, I know. But see, that's the reason why asked the question because I know that's coming is like, but most people don't know that I I know but still I'm intrigued by the whole staff thing. Well I am to end staff is one of that one of the repeated elements.
It keeps showing up and showing up and showing up working short on time.
We are to circle back to the hardened heart okay because we kinda tend to think that that's something that only happened Pharaoh but some 95 saddles 95. If you would hear God's voice do not harden your hearts like they did in the wilderness and the writer of Hebrews, which we discussed a few months ago picks that that very passage is now. Take care brethren in chapter 3 Lester being anyone of you and evil and unbelieving heart falling away from the living God, and he goes on to to quell that some 95.
While it said today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me.
He says point-blank day it was their hardened hearts due to the deceitfulness of sin that caused them, even in the face of God's repeated miracles to disregard him. So isn't it ironic that Pharaoh hears all the hardened hearts right before they get into the promised land. The people of Israel, God's own people are subject to the possibility that and we are and we are as well and has it has nothing to do with the volume of evidence God gives what he says because even even in Psalm 95 for the hardening part is as if you hear his voice right is your ear hearing some writer getting information. If you hear his voice general response.
You never lose hardening right don't harden your heart against that. Don't say Lala Lala stick your fingers in your ears if you hear his voice, will you respond and we were back to the issue of willingness right. That's what it is.
Hardened heart grieves God so we are going to watch as Pharaoh and eventually the people of Israel have hardened hearts, because, despite the fact of all the heavens, all the evidence, the surrounding signs and wonders for Pharaoh parting the Red Sea will but that's coming up to all that stuff. That stuff should figure in their minds and hearts in order to what God says but they don't so it's it's just ironic. Again, the more evidence presented to heart is not willing to believe.
Well, so we are out of time to join us next time is jumping to play number one interest is fascinating and that's the second half of the chapter 7 questions on Jim Main Street church city is solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments.